I hate to admit it, but I’m seasoned enough to remember frequenting Bennigan’s, Houlihan’s, Ground Round and T.G.I. Friday’s more for their liquid refreshments than their mealtime fare. Obviously, bar sales fueled much of the casual-dining segment’s early growth, and the big margins associated with beverages have never lost their allure. Still, widespread concerns about drunk driving dampened the party beginning in 1984, when Massachusetts became the first ...

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